If you asked me what one of my favorite childhood memories about video games was, I would tell you about Duke Nukem 3D. Whenever we would go to my cousin’s house, we would sit down in front of my uncle’s computer and play this game until we were red in the face. This went on for years even after other versions of the game were released.

When Ion Fury was announced, I was certain I was going to be able to relive my childhood. And honestly I was right. It is no surprise that 3D Realms, the creators behind Duke Nukem 3D, are behind this. What makes this one of my favorite retro first person shooters? We get to take control of Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison! She features all of the one liners and female bad ass-ery we want in all our player characters.

The level design in Ion Fury is beyond phenomenal. I never felt frustrated trying to navigate through and but I also never felt everything was pretty straightforward. The perfect amount of stress was met while playing through. It also features more than one type of weapon of course and they all have their own appeal. Swap between your favorite weapons and ammo while combating against the mass influx of enemies. Use wisely though, unlike games now you won’t get a ton of ammo! Speaking of enemies, don’t think you are just going to waltz right on past. No no. They take some extra hard hits in order to kill and they are never alone. I kept a running tab on how many times I died and it isn’t pretty.

This makes a huge difference when trying to pay homage to games of the past that weren’t filled with things created to make player life easier. But with that in mind, I still found the game extremely fun.

The game itself gives you four separate difficulties to play through including changes to the boss encounters for each one. I plan on trying to play through all four and see if I can survive to the end. Here is to hoping! If the story mode isn’t your forte, they also have a queen of the hill mode and Heskel’s House of Horrors to shake things up. You can either choose to defend your thrown or take on the scariest enemies Heskel has to offer. Whatever your choice, you will have fun!

Aesthetically this game looks like it could have been released right alongside other 90s shooters. The retro artwork isn’t overdone and fits perfectly with game play. It’s funny that back then all we wanted was better graphics and now we are excited to be looking at 90s blocky characters again!

The attention to detail within the game is a really big update from the past. It is great being able to go through and see more than just four textures used throughout. It isn’t just the visuals that strengthen the game. We also get an incredible audio track to listen to along with fantastic sound effects that just scream retro without being too overdone.

Who should buy this game? Of course anyone who likes fps or ever retro games. Ion Fury is fun and engaging on top of being one giant ball of nostalgia. It has just the right amount of difficulty for everyone and promises hours of super frustrating fun. Not to mention, the game has CHEAT CODES! How much more 90s can you get? You can also pick up special physical editions of the game that include a digital soundtrack, stickers, an Ion Fury mouse pad and so much more. Check out the two different editions on their site here.

Ion Fury is available starting tomorrow, August 15, 2019 on PC and will release on PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch next year. When you get this game make sure to tweet at me with how many deaths you have before it ends!

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Julia Roth
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